Vasyl Hohol-Yanovsky

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Vasyl Panasovych Hohol-Yanovsky (Ukrainian: Василь Панасович Гоголь-Яновський, Russian: Василий Афанасьевич Гоголь-Яновский, Vasily Hohol-Yanovsky; 1777 – 31 March (11 April) 1825) was the father of the writer Nikolai Gogol. He was the landlord of the village of Vasylivka, (now Hoholeve), Poltava oblast and descendent of Ukrainian noble families of Hohol and Lyzohub.

Vasyl Hogol loved writing comedic stage plays in Ukrainian, which were successfully put on by the famous theatre patron Dmitri Troshchinsky.


Vasyl was a son of Opanas Demianovych Yanovsky (1739-1798) and Tetiana Semenivna Lyzohub (1760-1826).

According to legend, one ancestor, Ostap Hohol,[1][2] was famous as a Cossack colonel and Hetman of Right-Bank Ukraine. The grandfather and great grandfather of Vasily were Orthodox priests. Vasily attended seminary, and then studied at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy like his father and grandfather. However, he abandoned the religious calling and served in the Imperial Russian Army as a regimental clerk. He retired with the rank of Major. Vasyl Gogol, was an outstanding person (knowing Ukrainian, Russian, Latin, Greek, German and Polish), was raised to the Russian nobility in 1792 and was granted the aristocratic name "Yanovsky". His social position was further secured by an advantageous marriage. As a dowry, Gogol-Yanovsky acquired dozens of serf families, which, according to statements in 1782, totaled 268 individuals.

Having spent some time at the post service, Gogol-Yanovsky left in 1805, with the rank of Collegiate Assessor and retired to his own estate Vasylivka (Yanovschyna) to devote himself to farming.

Vasyl Gogol was a friend of Dmitri Prokofyevich Troshchinsky, Minister of the State Council, and a distant relative. Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky was the director and actor in the Troshchinsky Home Theater between 1812 and 1825. In this capacity, he wrote several musical comedies based upon Ukrainian culture and folklore. Vasyl Gogol also wrote poems in the Russian and Ukrainian languages. Alexander Danilevsky noted that Vasyl Gogol was a "matchless storyteller".



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